Review of “How to be an American Housewife”

how to be an american housewife

interesting read...


I enjoyed reading How To Be an American Housewife, the latest slection I have read for the BlogHer Book Club.  The book’s author Margaret Dilloway writes well, imbuing her characters with an interesting voice. The characters are the center of this story and rightly so. Although the surprises and plot twists are revealed in the first section of the novel, the author creates such vivid, flawed, and human characters, especially the character of Shoko, that the reader is compelled to forge ahead.

The story is told in two voices, that of Shoko and of her daughter Suiko. It deftly explores the cultural divisions, and surprising similarities, between a mother and daughter who have grown up in two different worlds, WWII Japan and modern-day America. Shoko has worked hard to become as American a housewife as she can be, even referring to a handbook of the same title as the novel, while Suiko is disenchanted with her life as an American single mother. Excerpts from the handbook are presented as an organizing tool at the beginning of each chapter. Well worth reading, providing an interesting look into the intersection of Japanese and American cultures.



This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

My Olay Adventure…

I was looking through some old pictures from high school and college and  I saw myself in various fun situations with long forgotten friends.  Even though those were some wonderful times, I wouldn’t go back to those times for anything.  Wait!  I lied.  It happens quarterly.  I actually did want one detail back: MY SKIN!  My complexion was to die for.  Okay, you may not have laid down your life, but I love hyperbole  AND my retro-skin.


As I have aged to 32 years young I have lost that effortless clear skin privilege.  I have struggled through hormone fluctuation, hirsutism, and excessive stress just to name a few.  Gone were the days of a little cold cream and out-the-door.  As of late I have had a bout with  acne that has seriously affected my “skin-confidence.”


Most people think of acne as a teenage skin problem, yet acne can continue through your adult years, especially in women.  Adult skin/acne is different than young skin, so treatment of acne needs to be different.  We deal with issues such as:

  • Hormonal fluctuations – Caused by menstruation, menopause, or stress can lead to breakouts
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) – Discolorations of the skin caused by acne lesions and severe or prolonged irritation from harsh acne treatments
  • Slower skin turnover – Makes facial skin susceptible to clogged pores and breakouts


Most acne products currently do not address the needs of more mature skin, so it felt only right to try a product specifically formulated for my age demographic to combat my newly found skin issues.  I tried the Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line of products targeted especially for adult sufferers of acne about 2 weeks ago.   The first thing I liked about this system was that it was dummy-proof  with steps.  I definitely need steps because my attention span leaves much to be desired.  Here are the steps and my look at each one:

Olay Pro X Clear Professional

easy as 1, 2, 3...

  1. Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Pore Clarifying Cleanser — does not foam (which I know can bother some people), very soothing, not drying.
  2. Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Skin Clearing Treatment — absorbs into skin well, doesn’t burn. I have been following the directions on the package (use 1-3x a day) and only using it once a day because I think more than that would be too drying.  Another note, does have a slight smell to it.
  3. Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Complexion Renewing Lotion — I was surprised when I first used this and discovered it to be more of a serum as opposed to a traditional lotion. It isn’t greasy and does a good job of balancing out the treatment.



Before & After 2 weeks of use...

Within a two-week period I saw a definite change in my skin.  There was a decrease in blemishes and I also noticed that my skin was softer to the touch.  I also liked that it was not drying like many acne treatments tend to be.  In fact it moisturized without greasiness or heaviness.  I definitely intend to keep on using Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line as part of my skin regimen going forward.


While we’re on the subject of taking care of your skin, you might want to check out this post by Roxanna Sarmiento in the Life Well Lived section of She has some great tips for developing habits that will help your skin looks its best!

Answer the following question to enter to win a $50 gift card from BlogHer and Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line:

What changes have you seen in your skin as you’ve grown older?


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a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

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d)      For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.


This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

Enter between October 3rd – November 3rd

Slandering With the Stars

Have I ever mentioned that my grandparents are the greatest, silliest, wirdest, meanest and nicest people in the whole wide world?   Yes, the whole world, even U.S. Possessions and Guam.  These are TruFax that can be verified by me.   Anyway, what made me re-come to this conclusion is watching an entire episode of Dancing With the Stars with these two characters.  It may have been one of the greatest experiences I have had with them, seriously.  Here are some highlights of our adventure:


Carrie , Len , Bruno. According to my grandparents: hacks.

The Dancing With the Stars  judges. Oh, the judges.  First off, my grandmother remarked, “Can any of these fools dance?  How they gonna judge somebody.  They be lying to them folks anyway.”  My grandma be knowing, I wholeheartedly agree, I need to see some credentials, some recipts, a press release or something.  Just saying.  Then my grandfather says that the judge, Bruno, needs some medication and in his words, “He just ain’t right.”  My grandpa is the authority on all things, because grandpas just are, that’s his receipt.


Nancy Grace Dancing with the stars

Nancy Grace, the bane of grandma's existence.

My grandmother is obsessed with Nancy Grace.  Not in a good way, not that there is a good way to be obsessed with that weirdo, but I digress, this ain’t about me.  My grandma clowned this poor lady ever since she found out she was going to be on the show. She can’t stand Nancy Grace, like the hate is palpable (and hilarious).  She has clowned her weave, her weight, her dresses, her shape, the dancing to mention a few things.  In fact I am sure she probably even said something bad about the lady’s mama.  Then my grandfather just cosigns and laughs with every fiber of his being at everything she says.   He is an enabler.  I love  it!


stewie animated gif family guy

the general consensus in the house after each dance...

Then after every dance one of these phrases is uttered:

  • I hope that won’t supposed to be no waltz*, hmph.    (Editor’s note: Insert any dance in this sentence)
  • How they give them a 7, they needed to get a negative number.
  • Is that what they are calling dresses nowadays?  Oh.
  • I wish that man (Bruno) would go somewhere and sit down.
Dancing With The Stars logo

good times...


My grandparents have been married 64 years, so the funnest part of watching this with them is hearing their memories of when they used to go out dancing.  They were HUGE social butterflies and allegedly great dancers.  This storytelling and memory lane strolling is greater than anything else I could imagine doing.  This is why grandparents are national treasures, if you don’t have grandparents of your own you can come over and borrow mine anytime!  They love company anyway.


twitter bird with afro

He ends all his tweets with #naturalhair

I miss The PBG‘s old series where she posted the funniest tweets from Twitter.  I looked forward to it every Friday to make my week complete and feel like I could  live on.  Yes, I am dramatic and extra, I thought that’s why y’all liked me.  I digress.  In remembrance of that awesome series I wanted to ever so often post my favorite tweets of the moment.  All of them won’t necesarily be funny, just interesting or clever.  Enjoy! (*cries in the car waiting for The PBG to bring back her series*)


Very relevant wisdom:

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seems legit:

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See how folks be life Eff Logic!  I appreciate him stating this:

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Belinda, go sit down.

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Something in the milk ain’t clean…

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gratuitous ignorant Alise tweet:

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Happy Friday Y’all!

Eff logic…



Why I hate social media when major events political and/or serious in nature occur:

fuck logic animated gif stick figure


  • conflicting “facts”
  • trying to argue/talk with people who don’t know basic government structure
  • opinions being designated as less important because you may have just learned about an event
  • being attacked for talking about lighter topics… not realizing some people deal with things differently or the fact that people are allowed to not care about the issues they choose
  •  folks thinking their opinion is the end-all be-all
  • comparison of loosely related events to prove already shaky and/or irrelevant points
  • people contradicting themselves within the same tweet/post
  • and then some people are just plain rude
woo-sah…  Just had to let that out, I am sure there are more.

poetry, love, & laughs